NSTDA and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 5 September 2019. The MOU aims to support higher utilization of bioenergy, human resource capacity development, and the work towards the establishment of an ASEAN Bioenergy Research and Development (R&D) network Centre in the region. The MOU signing ceremony, officiated by Dr. Aree Thanaboonsombut, Deputy Executive Director of MTEC-NSTDA and Dr. Nuki Agya Utama Executive Director of ACE, was part of the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) and Related Meetings in Bangkok between 2-6 September 2019, with the theme of "Advancing Energy Transition through Partnership and Innovation".
At the 33rd ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting held in October 2015, ASEAN has set a goal to increase renewable energy consumption to 23% within 2025 and agreed to incentivize investment in renewable energy projects, establish R&D network on renewable energy and bioenergy and increase bioenergy utilization. Recognizing NSTDA’s work on bioenergy research, development and innovation, the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency of Thailand proposed the collaboration between NSTDA and the ACE in the research, capacity building and R&D network development.
MTEC-NSTDA has carried out over 10 national and international bioenergy projects. Recent example includes the transfer of H-FAME (partially Hydrogenated Fatty Acid Methyl Ester) technology to 2 commercial companies for the production of higher blend biodiesel. Under this MOU, MTEC-NSTDA and ACE will support staff and student exchange programs between institutes in ASEAN, organize meetings and workshops to advance research and development, and forge partnerships between ASEAN and other ASEAN dialogue partners and international organizations such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).